Let me share with you who R.M.3 is : Robert Gordon McNaughton, III (RM3) was my first friend in college and became my best friend in life. Insightful, adventurous and loyal to a fault. We were skydiving, camping, four wheeling, canoeing, scuba diving, and drinking buddies. We NEVER worked out, ran or cycled together; it was not our thing.
Robb was the best man in my wedding. He was the one person on the planet I could tell anything to and never feel judged. He was always the first person I called for advice.
Robb was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma about 3 years ago at the age of 45.
He went through the full gambit of treatment and for a short period we thought it was in remission. In October of 2016, he called me and said
"the cancer is back."
He informed me that he was going back in for treatment. That treatment was very tough. But Robb wasn't focused on himself. He was focused on me and the fact that I was super unhealthy and I was ignoring medical advice. He insisted that I take better care of myself so that I could be there for my family. On November 10th I took some steps to get myself back together. Diet plan and exercise was at the forefront.
Fast forward a few months and Robb was not getting better even with the aggressive chemo and radiation treatments. His Doctors were trying to get him into a experimental trial in Omaha Nebraska which is funded by the LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society). He did eventually get into that trial and it appeared to work for a very short while. At this point I was doing lots of research about blood cancers; it was here that I saw banner ads:
“Ride to Cure Lymphoma”
After seeing these ads for weeks I decided to sign up for a 100 mile bike ride and raise some money for the cause.
I thought “if Robb can suffer through chemo and keep a positive attitude then I can train through a simple 100 mile bike ride”
After my first "training ride" I was so sore. It was a just a 40 mile ride but I had a great coach David G. who was gracious enough to work with me and Meghan O. so we could be ready.
After not being able to walk for two days I thought to myself:
"what was I thinking!!!! this is really tough".
Then I thought of Robb and I knew why I was going to do something that wasn't easy. I was doing something very small compared to what Robb and everyone with blood cancer is going through. It kept me pushing.
The next hard thing I had to do was to call people and ask for money (no one likes doing that). But I reminded myself that it was for a good cause. I raised almost 5,000 dollars and completed the 100 mile ride in June.
I finished the ride but Robb didn't win his battle. He died this Summer.
I was fortunate enough to fly out to Boulder and say my good byes and sit with him in Hospice. To share time with his wife and family. To share stories to laugh and to cry. It was hard saying good bye to someone so young who was so full of life.
So now I am ALL IN. I am going to help end Lymphoma. And I ask you to help me by riding just 5 (kids ride), 37, or 63 miles. All the proceeds will go to LLS.
One last note. I lost a HUGE piece of my life that can't be replaced but through this I found a new love, a love for cycling. Not only that but I have met an AWESOME group of people and made wonderful new friends.
I encourage you to take part; ride, volunteer, or come and enjoy the music and food.
At the end of the day let’s raise a glass and say “Cheers Robb!”